Investigation launched after PPE destined for KZN schools goes missing
Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has launched an investigation into the procurement process for its personal protective equipment (PPE) that is being supplied to schools, to find any possible wrongdoing.
Speaking during the tabling of the department’s budget for 2020/21, MEC Kwazi Mshengu told members of the provincial legislature that they were looking closely at the processes.
The department’s commitment comes in the wake of two scandals over PPE procurement. PPE destined for Zululand, Pinetown and uMlazi districts went missing this week. Some has been recovered.
The department revealed that it had been informed that some of the masks it was being provided with may be substandard. It vowed it would work with the Department of Health to conduct an audit aimed at correcting this.
The department said it had resolved not to pay suppliers until the material had been authenticated.
Mshengu said he wanted to be certain the process was above board.
“We have since directed that an investigator look at what happened there, and even with regard to the PPE that re-emerged. We have also directed the investigator to look at the procurement process to identify issues that may have not yet come up,” he said.
“We want to be open about this, we brought the matter to the public’s attention after it emerged at one of our meetings. We could have swept it under the rug and said replace the missing PPE, but we want this investigated as we almost incurred additional expenses,” he said.